Registration of marriage
Before you get married
Before you get married, you and the person you wish to marry are required to give notification of your intention to marry to the Registrar at your local civil registration service. You must do this in person, at least 3 months before the date of your marriage. However, during COVID-19 you should contact your local civil registration service for a postal notification form. Read more about notification requirements for marriage.
If you are already in a civil partnership and wish to marry, you should contact the Registrar who will guide you through the process. The notification can be given to any Registrar. Find your local civil registration service.
What is a Marriage Notification Form?
When you give notification of your intention to marry, and if there is no impediment (barrier) to your marriage, the Registrar will issue you with a Marriage Registration Form (MRF) which gives you permission to marry. You need an MRF in order to get married in Ireland. The MRF is also needed to register your marriage so it is an important document.
You should give the MRF to whomever will be solemnising your marriage before the marriage ceremony. Immediately after the marriage ceremony the MRF should be signed by you and your spouse, the two witnesses and the person solemnising the marriage.
Registering your marriage
If you get married by civil ceremony, the Registrar who solemnised the marriage will register the marriage with the information on the MRF as soon as possible after the ceremony.
If you get married by religious or secular ceremony, you should give the MRF to a Registrar at a civil registration service within 1 month for the marriage to be registered. It does not have to be returned to the same Registrar who gave it to you.
Marriage registration during COVID-19
The timeframe to return your Marriage Registration Form has been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The timeframe of 1 month has been removed. You can post the form to the civil registration service during the pandemic or you can wait until the pandemic is over. If you send it by post, it is advised you send the form by registered or tracked post.
You cannot get your marriage certificate until your marriage is registered.
Registration of marriages outside Ireland
Marriages of Irish citizens abroad are normally registered in the country where they occur. The General Register Office (central civil repository for records relating to births, deaths and marriages in Ireland) has no role in the registration of marriages of Irish citizen(s) that take place abroad, or in advising on such marriages. Marriages that take place outside the State are not registered in Ireland.
Your foreign marriage certificate will usually be accepted for official purposes in Ireland where you need to show evidence that you are married. If the certificate is in a foreign language, you must provide an official translation or a translation from a recognised translation agency.
There is no fee charged for the registration of a marriage, or for the correction of errors on a marriage certificate. Fees are charged for copies of certificates.
A certificate is issued for social welfare purposes at a reduced cost. Evidence it is for social welfare purposes is required, such as a letter from the Department of Social Protection.
The fees charged for a certificate are as follows:
- €20 for a full standard certificate
- €0 (previously €1) for a copy for social welfare purposes (letter from Department of Social Protection required)
- €5 for an uncertified copy of an entry in the Register
- €10 to have a certificate authenticated (only available from the General Register Office)
From February 2019, you can request a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF) for birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates issued by the General Register Office. The purpose of an MSF is to provide a translation of the public document.
Getting a copy of your marriage certificate
To get a copy of a marriage certificate you should contact any civil registration service. You will need to provide the date (or approximate date if not known) and place of the marriage, and the full names of the couple before they married.
If you got married in Ireland (whether by civil, secular or religious ceremony) you can order a copy of your marriage certificate online (full standard certificates only), by post using an application form (pdf), or in person from at any civil registration service.
Postage for online orders is €1.50 per order in Ireland and €2 per order outside of Ireland. Delivery time depends on how long it takes to locate the certificate and where it is being posted to. You will receive a full refund if the record cannot be found.
The General Register Office maintains a family research facility known as The GRO Research Room at Werburgh Street, Dublin 2, where you can search the indexes to the registers and purchase photocopies of records. The Research Room is currently open by appointment only.
The certificates available include:
- Births 1864-1995 (Northern Ireland until 1921)
- Marriages April 1845-1995 (Catholic marriages from 1864-1995) (Northern Ireland until 1921)
- Deaths 1864-1995 (Northern Ireland until 1921)
Historic civil records of births, marriages and deaths for the following years may also be found on irishgenealogy.ie.
- Births 1864-1919
- Marriages 1845-1944
- Deaths 1878-1969